Sad news: Chopin semi-finalist dies

We have received news of the death of Anne Koscielny, who won a major Chopin contest in New York and received a medal of honour at the Warsaw competition. She had a far-flung performing career in chamber music, working with the Guarneri and Emerson quartets, among others. She was professor of music at The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford; also at the University of Maryland at College Park and the Eastman School of Music.

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  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Anne was a very dear friend, a vibrant person and brilliant musician. She was a member of the Kapell Competition jury in 1985 when we met. I was indeed fortunate to know her and listen to her play from the 32 sonatas by Beethoven on several occasions when she would play through for friends. She was married to Ray Hanson, one of the most respected teachers and formidable pianists of the 20th century, and I remember their peaceful retreat in New England–the farm house, where we could practice and take in the beautiful mountain air without any distractions. Her teaching touched many lives, as well as her performances. Here is a bio of Anne for those who may remember her:

    Anne Koscielny was a native of Florida and she began her piano studies at the age of six. Since then, she has performed in solo recitals, with orchestras, and in chamber music ensembles throughout the United States, in Central and South America, Europe, and Asia. Winner of many awards and prizes, including first prize in the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition in New York City, and first prize in the National Guild of Piano Teachers Recording Competition, she received the Bachelor of Music (with Distinction) from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Cécile Staub Genhart. She then received a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her Master of Music studying with Robert Goldsand. She has also studied with Frank Mannheimer and she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Vienna. Her London debut in 1972 was received with great critical success. The Daily Telegraph described her performance as filled with “Fire and feeling. Outstanding interpretations. Power and control. This was a remarkable debut.” Koscielny has also performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas in eight recitals at the University of Hartford, University of Maryland, and Centenary College (Shreveport, Louisiana). At Yale University, she has performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Syoko Aki. Well-known in the greater Washington area, Koscielny has performed for the Washington Performing Arts Society (Kennedy Center), the National Gallery of Art, and the Phillips Collection. As convention artist for several state Music Teachers Associations, she has performed and lectured in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Connecticut. Other concerts, master classes, lectures, and workshops have taken her to more than sixty college and university campuses. She has appeared as festival artist for the Maryland International Piano Festival, the American Matthay Association, and the Frank Mannheimer Festival.

    In chamber concerts, Koscielny has performed with the New Hungarian, American, Emerson, New World, and Guarneri String Quartets. For twelve years, she was Artist-in-Residence at Taos School of Music (New Mexico), a renowned summer school for strings and piano. Having served often on the Fulbright Screening Committee, she has also adjudicated the Gina Bachauer Competition, the Maryland International Piano Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists’ Association and numerous other competitions throughout the United States, Canada and Brazil. Over the years, many of her students have won major competitions and gone on to establish careers in teaching and performing. Formerly a professor of piano at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) Anne Koscielny joined the faculty of the University of Maryland at College Park in the fall of 1988. Since then, she has been active as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, chamber musician (pianist of the Altair Trio) and lecturer. Most recently, she was awarded a Creative and Performing Arts grant to record the thirty-two Sonatas of Beethoven. She resided in Washington with her husband, pianist and teacher Raymond Hanson.

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